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Improving Public Participation Processes for the Floods Directive and Flood Awareness: Evidence from Cyprus

Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, 20 Kostantinou Kavafi Street, Aglantzia, Nicosia 2121, Cyprus
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Water 2018, 10(7), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070958
Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 14 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Resources Management and Governance)
Public participation is integrated in the European Floods Directive to ensure engagement of societal actors in selecting and accepting measures. This study assesses the Directive’s public participation process and provides recommendations for its improvement by using Cyprus as a case study. Interviews with the organizers and attendees of the public consultations were carried out to evaluate the process while a citizen survey examined people’s flood awareness and opinions of three household-level flood protection measures (permeable pavements, rainwater harvesting systems, and green roofs). Public consultation organizers were generally satisfied with the process while participants suggested better structured information and a more participatory approach. The majority (77%) of the survey respondents did not know if they lived in a designated flood risk area while 93% were unaware of the public consultations carried out for the Floods Directive. Their perception about the effectiveness of the three flood protection measures was positively associated with their willingness to implement them. The results indicated the need for more participatory methods in the public participation process and better strategies to increase awareness and the engagement of people in flood management. Establishing procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of public participation could contribute to the recognition and improvement of the process. View Full-Text
Keywords: EU Floods Directive; public consultation; awareness; survey; stakeholders; participatory engagement; flood protection measures EU Floods Directive; public consultation; awareness; survey; stakeholders; participatory engagement; flood protection measures
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Charalambous, K.; Bruggeman, A.; Giannakis, E.; Zoumides, C. Improving Public Participation Processes for the Floods Directive and Flood Awareness: Evidence from Cyprus. Water 2018, 10, 958.

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